Actor/Director Lab 2011 Day 2

Eleanor Buchan - Actor Participant

"Day One and I am immediately struck by the atmosphere Kristine creates in the room. 20 people who don't know each other have very quickly established an atmosphere of trust and openness and a distinct lack of neurosis. I have always felt that at an atmosphere like this, since I so rarely encountered it in rehearsal rooms, must be the creation of some grand and secret formula. But it seems, as far as I can tell, to be a combination of a director with an absolute confidence in her own ability, a no-nonsense attitude and a spoken belief that the actor, and thus the work, will be brilliant.

To me, this is a genuine and amazing revelation. Every time I have felt small, scared or exposed in a rehearsal room, I have always assumed that it was my, the actor's, fault for not being brilliant, prepared or professional enough. That tensions, blocks or troubles were the result of my actions or attitude. It is amazing to me that our fears are acknowledged and understood. What a new thing to regard the feeling in the room as a collaborative effort and that director and actor are in it together. That they might actually play the same game. That the director might sit up close to the actor as if they really care and really want to watch. It is amazing to begin with the idea that 'the actor is brilliant'. Naturally, I think this is genius.

Its extremely exciting to be in a room with such a mish-mash of accents, worlds and unique identities. I love the way Kristine goes for this hell for leather, refusing to tiptoe around our jittery political correctness. I confess that it makes me think of my own ethnicity (White British) as deeply dull. I wonder whether I'll be able to use this anyway. I am furious that I don't have a second language to draw on. But it's gold dust on stage; if you don't comprehend the words of the other actor, you have to work that much harder to understand the meaning. You listen so much harder. And that takes you out of yourself and onto the other actor. I love this. Can't wait for more."

Rachael Young - Actor Participant

"What can I say, my two weeks spent at Tamasha, prove to be an invaluable experience. Like so many of the participants I was interested in how my cultural context could impact my work as an actor, and also keen to understand how improvisation would play a part in this. I had some preconceived ideas about what I would gain from the course, and these expectations were completely surpassed on every level.

What I found was a very welcoming bunch of actors and directors, all full of enthusiasm to learn. I particularly enjoyed Kristine’s actor centred approach and found that when working with her I felt comfortable and uninhibited. I enjoyed the endless opportunities to play and was pleased at the freedom that this gave me in a performance situation.

I would unreservedly recommend this course to actors and directors alike; it has helped to reignite my fire as a professional and reaffirm my passion in acting!"